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Kawakami opens campaign HQ

First-time Kaua‘i County Council candidate Derek Kawakami opened his campaign headquarters Thursday evening on Rice Street in Lihu‘e.

Some of the more than 50 residents attending the celebration said the 30-year-old former Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative board member “represents the younger generation” and “cares about the community.”

In between welcoming supporters to the function, the Big Save businessman explained why he decided to seek a position on the seven-member legislative body.

“My basic motivation behind running is having children and being concerned about their future,” said Kawakami, of Kapa‘a.

He says in his profile that he feels obligated to the residents and to the island for all the sacrifices made to give the next generation a better life.

Kawakami says he supports local businesses, energy and food sustainability, and controlling government spending.

Randy Hee, KIUC president and chief executive, said last month after Kawakami stepped down to run for council that he “served KIUC’s members and employees well.”

KIUC board Chair Dennis Esaki said Kawakami was a “moving force” who fights for what he believes is right.

“My passion for the greater good of our island at this critical point has given me an overwhelming desire to serve our island on a broader scale,” Kawakami said at the May 20 meeting.

The deadline to file to run in the Nov. 4 general election is July 22.

• Nathan Eagle, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or


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